Technical Metrics for OO Systems


We already discussed that measurement and metrics are key components of any engineering discipline—and object-oriented software engineering is no exception. Sadly, the use of metrics for OO systems has progressed much more slowly than the use of other OO methods. Ed Berard notes the irony of measurement when he states:

Software people seem to have a love-hate relationship with metrics. On one hand, they despise and distrust anything that sounds or looks like a measurement. They are quick to point out the "flaws" in the arguments of anyone who talks about measuring software products, software processes, and (especially) software people. On the other hand, these same people seem to have no problems identifying which programming language is the best, the stupid things that managers do to "ruin" projects, and who's methodology works in what situations.

The “love-hate relationship” that Berard notes is real. And yet, as OO systems become more pervasive, it is essential that software engineers have quantitative measurements for assessing the quality of designs at both the architectural and component levels. These measures enable an engineer to assess the software early in the process, making changes that will reduce complexity and improve the long-term viability of the end product.
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